In Your Face

Asbestos Found in Claire's Kids Makeup

The negative health effects of asbestos are well-known. Most people may associate asbestos contamination with the workplace or decades-old construction material, but alarmingly, recent media reports have found asbestos contamination in kids' makeup from popular stores. PIRG decided to do its own asbestos testing at an accredited laboratory. PIRG tested over a dozen makeup products that contained talc from a variety of stores and brands, including children's and teen's products as well as adult's products, and found three products containing asbestos currently sold by Claire's retail company. PIRG calls on Claire's to immediately recall the three makeup products and investigate how such high levels of asbestos were found in these products. 


CALPIRG Education Fund

Asbestos Found in Claire’s Makeup

After reading media reports purporting that some children’s makeup contains asbestos, we did our own testing. PIRG tested over a dozen makeup products from a variety of stores and found three products containing asbestos (tremolite) currently sold by Claire’s. The laboratory tests were done by STAT Analysis Corporation, an independent laboratory that is accredited for asbestos testing. The lab first conducted a PLM (polarized light microscopy) test for asbestos and found that three products tested positive for asbestos. The lab then performed the TEM (transmission electron microscopy) test to determine how many fibers of asbestos per gram each product contained. We then did a re-test of the TEM test to confirm the results, and those results are also listed in this report. FDA has also used both TEM and PLM methods in tests it conducted for asbestos in cosmetics.

Claire’s is a national retailer of cosmetics, jewelry, and novelties aimed at children, tweens, and young adults. We found three “shimmery” makeup products at Claire’s which contain asbestos.

Our report and test results come after Claire’s issued a recall of nine makeup products in December 2017 when those products tested positive for asbestos. Claire’s first announced the recall on Twitter and later released a statement on its website. Later, on January 14, 2018, the company released an updated statement that, according to its internal testing, it did not find any asbestos in its products. In January 2018, we purchased makeup items from Claire’s for testing. Despite Claire’s assurances that their products were uncontaminated, we found asbestos in three of the products that we purchased after Claire’s voluntarily pulled the original nine contaminated items off the shelf.

We are waiting to hear if Claire’s will pull these other three products off the shelves after we shared this information with the company, and we are waiting to hear if Claire’s is willing to do additional work to ensure that their consumers are safeguarded from asbestos contamination in their products. At this time, Claire’s denies that their products contain asbestos.